Jay man sentenced to serve five years in child sex case

Posted Sept. 28, 2013, at 6:01 a.m.

FARMINGTON, Maine — A Jay man was sentenced Friday to serve five years of a 10-year sentence at the Maine Department of Corrections on a felony charge of unlawful sexual contact against a child under age 12 in August 2010.

The sentence for Ralph O. Metcalf, 34, includes 12 years probation due to the age of the child. There are also provisions for no contact with the victim, supervised contact with children under age 16 and sex offender treatment and counseling.

Metcalf will also need to register with the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act for the rest of his life, based on the age of the child, Justice Michaela Murphy said.

He pleaded guilty to the felony charge of unlawful sexual contact in an agreement after attorneys gave opening statements at a jury trial at the Franklin County Superior Court in June. A felony charge of gross sexual assault was dismissed in the agreement. Conviction on that charge carries a maximum of 30 years in prison.

The only reason Murphy was willing to accept the plea agreement, she said at the time, was because the family wanted the case dismissed. The victim did not want to testify and planned to take the Fifth Amendment, which Murphy said she cannot do.

In July, Metcalf asked to withdraw his guilty plea and that his attorneys, Peter Kaynor and Christopher Berryment, withdraw from the case. He wanted new counsel, he told the court.

Metcalf has been held without bail since June 19 and is now represented by attorney Nicholas Worden.

Metcalf dropped his request to withdraw a guilty plea earlier this month and Worden requested sentencing on Friday.

The sentence given Friday on the lesser charge of unlawful sexual contact reflected the terms of the June plea agreement, which Murphy saw no reason to alter. Conviction on this charge carries a penalty of up to 10 years in prison.

In June, Assistant District Attorney James Andrews said the recommendation was for Metcalf to serve five years of a 10-year sentence and that he could serve 12 years probation once released.

 

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